It’s a good time to work at a startup and/or tech company in Colorado. Last year, we broke the record of venture capital investments, raising more than $1.6 billion of investments in our rapidly expanding startup and tech community.
Tech startups, especially, are climbing to the top of the “Silicon Mountains” where the amazing scenery is just the cherry on our tech market Sunday. To give you an idea of the thriving environment, here’s what’s going on in the Colorado tech community:
10.3% of the Colorado workforce is in tech, making Colorado the sixth most dense tech state per capita
14.5% of Colorado’s economy runs on high-octane tech
There are more than 160 new tech startups in Denver alone
Between the rushing river of VC money and the hopping tech scene, it’s a great time to join a rising startup. But no one wants to make the move to a new company if you’re just going to get buried in an avalanche of red tape.
Don’t worry. Tech companies feel the love from Colorado politics. In this post, we’re giving you all the information you need to know about the current political state and how it’s impacting the tech industry.
Current State of Colorado Politics
On a state level, Colorado politics are all about getting tech companies to build their businesses here. Colorado’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade (COOEDIT) has a range of programs and incentives to draw successful tech startups right here.
Colorado Tax Credits
The COOEDIT has a ton of tax incentives to draw companies to the state.
Enterprise Zone Tax Credits: Tax incentives to locate in Colorado with funds to get new hires, as if the mountains weren’t enough of a perk
Job Growth Incentive Tax Credit: A program to inspire projects that otherwise wouldn’t happen in Colorado.
Strategic Fund Incentive: A performance-based program to support Colorado businesses that have recruited and retained new permanent jobs for one year.
Advanced Industries Funding
In addition to their slew of tax credits, Colorado set up a series of funding initiatives to support cutting edge startups, including new tech companies. Beyond job training, they offer grants to help startups evolve from an idea to an enterprise as fast as possible.
Pivot to Colorado
The people in Colorado politics know that their tech scene is only as good as the people working in it, which is why they’re working to bring more talent into the State.
They’re up-front about it, too. The headline for thePivot To Colorado site reads, “This is a poaching strategy.” We love the honesty!
The state wants you to know that the state is about more than the gorgeous scenery, it’s a great place to work and build a thriving life. Some of our State’s accolades include:
2nd state in new startup rate (U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 2016)
State with the fastest growing economy (Business Insider, 2016)
2nd best city for software engineers (Hired)
4th best city to start a tech career (Glassdoor, 2017)
Understanding Local Colorado Politics
The State leaders aren’t the only group that wants to get new tech companies, and workers, to come to Colorado. Cities like Denver, Colorado Springs, and Boulder are paving the way for the drive to their thriving tech markets.
Denver has a nearly negative unemployment rate, especially among tech workers. Tech companies are fighting for your talent because the talent pool is shrinking, day by day.
Denver wants to create career opportunities that are more than just jobs. They’re building a city in which you’ll love to live, work, and play.
Boulder has established a flexible rebate program to entice companies to invest in their city. Nearly any company that gets more than 50% of its revenue from outside their county is eligible for the program, which rebates a variety of taxes and fees.
They don’t just want established businesses — Boulder’s micro-loan program offers small loans up to $50,000 to help businesses grow while they’re still in their infancy. They want to:
Encourage people to start their own businesses
Bridge the gap to prepare small businesses for bank financing
Foster diversity by encouraging business growth among minority groups
Incentivize job growth, especially for low-income and middle-income workers
Encourage non-profit startups to serve the community
Boulder doesn’t just want a thriving tech community, they want to be an equitable city with opportunities for everyone. Now, that’s a community culture worth joining.
Peak Startup is a Colorado Springs nonprofit that focuses on helping tech companies grow through three stages, the exploratory stage, the ideas stage, and early-stage companies. It’s their way to develop homegrown startups and lure people from Silicon Valley who are fed up with high costs and red tape.
The Pikes Peak Workforce Center is Colorado Springs’s answer to developing local talent. Their training programs help locals move into the burgeoning tech market so companies can get the talent they need. When people like you join up to grow a new startup, they’re able to help provide you with good talent to work for you.
A lot of cities and states say they want to develop new businesses, but then they drop of a load of regulations and taxes that slow down a new tech startup. Colorado politics is different. Between incentives, culture and tax incentives the whole state wants to make it easier for tech businesses to succeed.
Here at BWBacon Group, we know and live what you are experiencing as an employer or job seeker in Denver, Boulder, Dallas, San Francisco, New York City or any of the other cities we work in. We believe great recruiting starts and ends with understanding people.
If you have any questions about living, working or playing any of the areas we serve, please contact us. We are happy to help. Seize the day, every day, that’s what we say!